Cause of Whitney Houston’s death under investigation


By William M. Welch, USA TODAY

today LOS ANGELES – Police and coroner’s officials sought to determine a cause of death for singer Whitney Houston  as her teenage daughter was hospitalized Sunday in a distraught reaction to the loss of her mother.

The event Houston was planning to attend, the Grammys, went on without her.

An autopsy was begun Sunday, but results would be withheld at the request of Beverly Hills  police, said Capt. John Kades of the Los Angeles County coroner’s office. Toxicology tests were likely to take some time.

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Coroner Ed Winter said Houston was found in the bathtub of her Beverly Hilton Hotel  room. He declined to say whether she drowned.

Bobbi Kristina Brown, Houston’s daughter with her former husband, singer Bobby Brown , was transported from the hotel to Cedars-Sinai hospital at 10:30 a.m. Sunday „for medical purposes,” the Beverly Hills Fire Department said.

The 18-year-old was treated for a stress-related condition and released, according to sources close to the family who declined to be identified by name.

Houston, who became a pop sensation in the 1980s with a debut album that became a global hit, had battled personal demons including alcohol, pills and cocaine.

Beverly Hills police Lt. Mark Rosen said, „There were no obvious signs of criminal intent” at the scene of Houston’s death. Her body was discovered by a member of her entourage, Rosen said.

Houston attended a rehearsal for a pre-Grammy party hosted by music mogul Clive Davis , an annual ritual for some of the biggest stars in the pop music and entertainment worlds. That party proceeded as Houston’s body remained in her room upstairs at the hotel and investigators gathered evidence.

Outside the hotel, at a busy intersection in the heart of Beverly Hills, fans created a makeshift shrine with flowers, candles and notes of appreciation to the singer.

Bobby Brown, whose tumultuous 15-year marriage to Houston ended in 2007, was performing in Mississippi hours after Houston died.

He told his audience, „I would like to say, 'I love you, Whitney.’ The hardest thing for me to do is come on this stage.”

Contributing: The Associated Press